EPT Snowfest: Day 2, level 15 updates (2,000-4,000 400)
11.35pm: Bubble still wins
The ten minutes passed with just one more casualty, which means 86 players will return for tomorrow's day three to play down to 24 players. As the bagging and tagging process completes, there is no doubt who the overnight chip leader is. Step forward German Team PokerStars Pro Johannes Strassmann. For it is he, with 741,000. A full wrap will be on the way shortly, while the chip page will be fully updated faster than a man yodelling gets a snowball in the chops. -- SY
11.25pm: Bubble wins
There's only 10 minutes left on the tournament clock and 87 players remain. The tournament officials have announced that we'll play four more hands and then we're done for the night, meaning the bubble will burst tomorrow.
Stick here for final counts, etc., and action from the last few hands. There should be a lot of it. -- HS
11.20pm: Sixth pair wins
Max Lykov is today's Nasr El Nasr - every time you walk past his table he's involved in a big, big pot. Although he couldn't beat Michele Colaci's flopped set (see 10.50pm post), he's certainly winning most of them, and is now closing in on 500,000 having got some back from Colaci.
How about this one for an indication of Lykov's style? There was the statutory (for a Lykov pot) 30,000-odd in the middle and four cards exposed: 9♦6♦5♥3♣. Colaci checked, Lykov bet 13,400 and Colaci raised to 27,000. Lykov called.
The turn came 6♠ and Colaci led 30,000 at it. Lykov thought a while but called and Colaci immediately tapped the table in appreciation. He perhaps didn't know quite how good this call was, however. Colaci showed J♠K♣ and Lykov tabled 2♥2♦ for an underpair to the board. Lykov is on fire. -- HS
11.10pm: Pagano's poker peeves
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano finds out what annoying things that poker players do.
11.05pm: Berendsen beats Perner
Dennis Waterman got this one started, raising to 10,300 from early position. Bernhard Perner flatted and Koen Berendsen made it 40,000 from the big blind.
This squeezed out Waterman (who is a very short stack now, approaching the bubble) but Perner called.
Neither seemed very interested in the flop of 9♦3♣7♥, both checking, nor the turn of 5♠. They checked again. When the river came A♠, Berendsen bet 22,400 and a clearly anguished Perner open folded pocket jacks.
Both these two seem to be locks for the cash. Perner still has about 360,000 and Berendsen is up to 290,000. -- HS
10.55pm: Fantini and Murariu are at it again
Marco Fantini had earlier showed a 8♦2♦ 4-bet bluff to Dan Murariu and so it's little surprise that the two are at it again. Fantini opens to 12,800 from the small blind and Murariu raises to 28,500. Fantini makes the call. Action is checked through to the A♥7♦K♠7♠ turn until Murariu slides 36,000 across the line, which is called by Fantini. Both players check the Q♠ on the river and Murariu shows A♦8♦ to take the pot. -- RD
10.50pm: Nice flop
Michele Colaci open the betting from the small blind to 12,000 and Max Lykov makes the call. Colaci check-calls Lykov's 8,600 bet on the T♥9♥9♠ flop. Both players check the K♠ on the turn before Colaci bets a chunky 16,500 on the 5♣ river. Lykov doesn't take long before calling and the Italian shows a monstrous 9♦T♣ for a flopped boat. -- RD
10.45pm: Huge stacks gather together
The line up of table three is formidable. Check out these names, stacks and reputations (especially the last three):
Seat one: Jose Besalduch - 60,000
Seat two: Jeffrey Hakim - 172,000
Seat three: Evgeniy Zaytsev - 180,000
Seat four: Marine Labernardie - 107,000
Seat five: Filip Maksimovic - 93,000
Seat six: Richard Toth - 430,000
Seat seven: Johannes Strassmann - 650,000
Seat eight: Alexander Debus - 350,000
Debus and Toth just got involved in a small skirmish, with Toth coming out on top. The Hungarian Team PokerStars Pro raised from the button, making it 9,000. Debus called in the big blind and they went to a 9♥5♦5♠ flop. Debus check-called Toth's 12,000 feeler and they saw a 4♦ turn. Debus checked again, Toth bet 26,000 and Debus folded.
At the other end of the table, Hakim and Zaytsev were at it a few hands prior. Hakim made it 8,800 from the cut off, Zaytsev raised to 23,400 and Hakim asked for a count. Zaytsev said that he had about 180,000 at the beginning of the hand and Hakim raised to 43,500. Zaytsev folded.
You also wouldn't really want to be on the same table as Aflio Battisti or Lex Veldhuis, although the Team Pro duo are not among the chip leaders. Battisti has 190,000 and Veldhuis about 195,000.
It's not going to be great to be anywhere near Max Lykov either at the moment. Lykov now has about 460,000. -- HS
10.30pm: Strassmann marches on
Johanness Strassmann raised to 11,000 from the button - no surprise there given the size of his stack. But in the big blind Artur Simonyan woke up with 6♠6♣ and pushed all in for around 40,000. "I am not happy, but I call," Strassmann announced. And he was right not to be happy, turning over 3♠3♦.
But all that mattered not when the flop came 8♠3♥5♣. The 2♥ turn opened up a gutshot draw for Simonyan, but the [10c] river did not fill it.
That kept Strassmann nicely over 600,000. It's no coincidence we happen to have a video interview with the German Team PokerStars Pro right here...
10.25pm: Aggression pays for some
Marco Adams bet 9,000 and Nasr el Nasr re-raised to 23,200. Jesper Hougaard then woke up a few seats along with a hand to his liking and re-re-raised to 56,000. But it was not over yet - after it was folded around to Adams again he thought for a moment or two before announcing he was all in for around 180,000. Nasr and Hougaard insta-folded. --SY
10.20pm: Chip captains
It's break time and we've just had a quick scout around the tables to find some of the biggest stacks left among the final 97 players. One player stands to win €445,000 just a few days from now and even though a big stack at this point certainly doesn't guarantee you a final table berth it should mean that you're a shoo in for the money. There are just 17 players left to fall before the cash payouts begin.
Johannes Strassmann - 640,000
Mark Bech - 470,000
Lukas Sasky - 340,000
Lex Veldhuis - 340,000
Vladislav Shuravin - 350,000
Marco Adams - 365,000
Jesper Hougaard - 240,000 -- RD
10.15pm: Last 75 minutes? Perhaps not
Well then. This new level, level 15, is scheduled to be the last of the day. There are 97 players remaining in the tournament, and with 80 due to be paid, this level will be very tense indeed.
It's not really the done thing to make the field go to bed at the end of the day knowing that one or two of them won't cash. (It's cruel enough to face the bubble, let alone face it with an extra day's hotel bill.) That means there's every chance we'll play until the bubble bursts, which might take us beyond the scheduled end.
On the other hand, these 17 folk might fly out the door and we'll finish early. Who knows. -- HS
PokerStars Blog reporting team surrounded by Heidis*: Rick Dacey, Howard Swains, Simon Young.
*The PokerStars Blog reporting team is not surrounded by Heidis.